Tad is for the Grand Haven High School graduate’s grandfather, Clarence “Tad” Poel, who died in 2011.
On Monday, Poel added another name to the mound after his cousin and dear friend, Ross Poel, died unexpectedly due to an undetected heart condition.
“I always write Tad in the dirt, so this time I wrote Tad, then I threw an RP below it,” said Poel, who proceeded to go out and earn his first win in a Lakers’ uniform.
Poel threw four innings, allowing four earned runs while striking out three to earn the victory.
He had a lot more than baseball on his mind. A few days earlier, on March 27, Poel received a call from his mom, Lisa, telling him that Ross was not doing well.
“I had just gotten back from class when my mom called me and said there was some stuff going on with Ross,” Poel said. “We weren’t sure what had happened. My dad called me shortly after, and my aunt and uncle live right up the road in Standale, so he picked me up. It was jut shocking. I couldn’t believe it.”
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